ShoreRivers holds Restoration Project Tour and Ribbon Cutting

ShoreRivers recently conducted a Restoration Project Tour for state and local government staff, board members, contractors, project funders, and major supporters. The tour culminated in a ribbon cutting for a recently completed 4,100’ stream restoration on Swantown Creek in the upper Sassafras River.

The tour showcased the power of leveraging partnerships to create significant nutrient and sediment reductions, restore habitat, and reduce erosion. Located in the Wye, Chester, and Sassafras watersheds, attendees toured the following restoration projects:

Photo: Swantown Creek Stream Restoration ribbon cutting. Pictured left to right: Kim Righi, Cindy Hayes, Ken Shumaker, Jeff Russell, Josh Thompson, John Burke, Ted Carski, Emmett Duke (all ShoreRivers Board or Staff), Caleb Gould (Landowner, Teels Lake LP), Rocky Powell (Engineer, Clear Creeks Consulting), Lee Irwin (Construction, Aquatic Resource Restoration Company), Sepehr Baharlou (Design, permitting, BayLand Consultants & Designers), and Kristin Junkin (ShoreRivers). Photo Credit: ShoreRivers

Chesapeake College Stormwater Restoration

ShoreRivers implemented a suite of 19 projects to address major stormwater challenges on campus and to capture runoff from almost 80 acres of surrounding agricultural fields. The projects include a wetland restoration and meadow planting, ten bioponds, two riparian buffer plantings, a stream restoration, the conversion of 10 acres of turf to wildflower meadow, and a planting of four acres of switchgrass buffers around agricultural fields.

Worton Park Wetland and Tree Planting

Completed in 2016, this wetland construction and tree planting project spans 10 acres across Kent County High School and Worton Park, filtering stormwater from 120 acres of turf, buildings, and parking lots at the headwaters of two impaired creeks. High school students were engaged at every step of the process. Now two years post completion, we will be able to see the wetland in a more natural state of plant growth and the habitat it provides.

Starkey Farm Stepped Treatment Wetlands

This ongoing project, located in Galena on the largest spinach farm in Maryland and one of the largest on the East Coast, is designed to increase the capacity of an existing sediment pond and restore a portion of the stream located at the outlet of the pond. The project includes a sediment forebay constructed at the head of the system and includes a series of stepped, lined, vegetated treatment wetland cells that provide both nutrient removal and create storage above the pond.

Swantown Ravine Restoration

Recently completed, this project in the Sassafras River watershed restored 4,100 feet of actively eroded stream, reconnected the stream to the floodplain, restored natural stream function, and eliminated further sedimentation in Swantown Creek. Seven shallow ponds at the head of each main tributary creek capture and infiltrate water flow from the upstream farm owned by Teels Lake, LP. The length of the primary stream has been stabilized and replanted with native plants to reduce erosion and provide habitat.

Projects were funded in full or in part by Maryland’s Department of Natural Resources Chesapeake and Atlantic Coastal Bays Trust Fund, National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, Environmental Protection Agency, Chesapeake Bay Trust, and Kent and Queen Anne’s Counties.

ShoreRivers protects and restores Eastern Shore waterways through science-based advocacy, restoration, and education. We work collaboratively with our community yet maintain an uncompromising and independent voice for clean rivers and the living resources they support.

shorerivers.org

Science Bytes with the Horn Point Lab: Learn, Sip & Taste

Dr. Victoria Coles

The Horn Point Laboratory (HPL) invites you to join them for Science Bytes a witty, interactive event where one can learn, sip, and taste.  Join us Thursday, July 18 from 6 to 7:30 pm at Piazza Italian Market in Easton.

These gatherings are make science relevant to our communities available to you in a casual, fun setting.  Join the Horn Point Laboratory’s Dr. Victoria Coles as she shares her most recent research efforts to understand the physical and ecological impacts of changes in extreme events in the Chesapeake Bay. Lab Director, Mike Roman, will interview Victoria and discuss her research taking us back in time over the past century using local weather stations to learn how our weather has been changing – and what models predict for the future.”  Questions are encouraged, and thought provoking conversation is sure to ensue.

Learn, sip and taste at Piazza Italian Market in Easton, MD. Savor wine, beer, and antipasto from Italy. Get to know the scientist behind the science important to our environment, and mingle with old friends and new acquaintances in this casual, local setting.

Tickets are $25/ person.  To register visit https://www.umces.edu/events/science-bytes-july or contact Carin Starr at cstarr@umces.edu, 410-221-8408.

ForeFront Power and ESLC Announce Partnership to Expand Renewable Energy

In the spirit of forming community partnerships that support local initiatives – while also spreading the benefits of renewable energy to local residents – Eastern Shore Land Conservancy (ESLC) is excited to announce a new partnership with solar energy provider ForeFront Power. In the partnership, ForeFront will donate $100 towards the organization’s programs and initiatives for each new Community Solar subscriber obtained via ESLC’s network of constituents.

You can reserve your spot in one of ForeFront Power’s Community Solar farms by following the link below to review the various plans available to you. To ensure that your subscription benefits ESLC, just use the code ESLC100 during the formal enrollment process to ensure that your impact is achieved. ForeFront will then follow up with more details on next steps and what to expect.

Community solar projects give local energy consumers access to solar energy generated on smaller land footprints. For example, ForeFront Power’s Community Solar projects range from 12 to 22 acres.

Eastern Shore residents across Delaware, Maryland, and Virginia are acutely aware that the region is the third most vulnerable to sea-level rise in the nation, according to the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science. Community Solar subscribers will be doing their part in supporting renewable energy adoption (while saving money) on the Eastern Shore of Maryland.

Currently, approximately half of U.S. households are unable to install rooftop solar due to space, lack of sun exposure or ownership limitations, according to the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL). Community Solar gives these households – including those who rent – an easy way to benefit from solar without installing or maintaining any equipment.

Eastern Shore Land Conservancy (ESLC), founded in 1990, is working to educate residents on these impacts while continuing their mission to protect farmland and natural areas. Through these efforts, ESLC has protected nearly 65,000 acres of the Eastern Shore’s important natural habitat areas and prime farmland through easements on more than 310 properties.

Questions? Feel free to reach out to ForeFront via email at MDCustomerCare@forefrontpower.com or by phone at (410) 442-6127.

Congressman Harris Announces Grant Funding for the Center for Environmental Science

On Tuesday, June 4th, Congressman Andy Harris (MD-01) announced a grant awarded to the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science for research and educational programs.  Rep. Harris made the following statement:

“I am proud to announce that the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science in Cambridge, Maryland was awarded $1.24 million in grant funds through the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).  The Maryland Sea Grant mission is to support research to address key questions important to environmental management, support marine education for students of all ages, and support outreach regarding science-based management of the watersheds and coastal ecosystems in Maryland.  The Sea Grant program encourages scientists and stakeholders to work together from the initiation of ideas to the completion of research projects.”

For media inquiries, please contact Congressman Harris’ Washington, DC office at 202-225-5311, or contact Julia Nista at Julia.Nista@mail.house.gov.

Floral Paintings by Lani Browning on View Through July at Adkins Arboretum

So lush, delicate and exquisitely colored that you can almost smell them, Lani Browning’s floral oil paintings on linen fill the gallery in Adkins Arboretum’s Visitor’s Center. This Centreville artist is well known for her award-winning landscape paintings, but in her show Bloom, on view through July 26, she focuses exclusively on flowers. There will be a reception to meet the artist on Sat., June 22 from 3 to 5 p.m.

“I simply love flowers,” Browning said. “Always have. They make me happy. I’m enjoying a more intimate way of expressing myself by observing flowers and ‘listening’ to their stories.”

It’s a tribute to Browning’s exceptional skills as a painter that each of the flowers she paints is an individual. Each blossom in her “Casablanca Lilies” seems to reach out with its own particular animated gesture, and each is at a different stage in its development. The multicolored flowers in “Daffodils” appear to be engaged in a lively conversation, and every tiny, purplish floret in “Redbud” seems to be dancing with those around it.

Browning is a master at rendering exquisite shading and the subtleties of light and shadow with loose, deceptively casual brushstrokes. She deftly captures the intricacy and nuances of each five-petaled flower in the billowing branches of “Cherry Blossoms.” While the foreground blossoms catch the light on their delicate, pale pink petals, those behind fade back into the shadows, becoming more mysterious and impressionistic as they recede into the distance.

Browning explained, “I am interested in the flowers as personalities—the elegance of a rose, the perkiness of a daffodil, the romance of a peony—and playing with how they ‘emerge’ in my field of vision, thus the ‘pulling in and out’ of details.”

“Cherry Blossoms” by Lani Browning

There’s a glow to Browning’s flowers that makes them feel distinctly alive. Many are caught in the act of opening their petals, and the stems of those in full flower bend just a little, bringing to mind the phrase “heavy with blossom.”

“I paint the flowers from life,” Browning said. “It’s a challenge inside or outside. You must paint quickly! I rarely cut them unless there is an abundance of blossoms and/or a storm is coming. When I do cut them for a vase, it allows me to study them more closely, and my studio is filled with heavenly fragrance.”

Adding to a long list of honors, Browning recently won an award from the Oil Painters of America for her luminous painting “Hydrangeas,” which was included in its National Spring Online Exhibition, as well as in the Adkins show, and a People’s Choice Award from Chestertown RiverArts for her landscape “Chesapeake Environmental Center” in its Art of Stewardship Exhibit.

Despite her current focus on flowers, Browning continues to paint landscapes, finding particular inspiration in the Eastern Shore skies and water reflections and sometimes traveling to Cape Henlopen to paint the waves or even to Chestertown’s Downrigging festival to work on her series of paintings of the tall ship Kalmar Nyckel.

“The main thing is I like to change things up,” she said. “Tackle things I haven’t fully explored while still keeping my hand in those subjects that I’m more known for. I don’t like to repeat myself.”

This show is part of Adkins Arboretum’s ongoing exhibition series of work on natural themes by regional artists. It is on view through July 26 at the Arboretum Visitor’s Center located at 12610 Eveland Road near Tuckahoe State Park in Ridgely. Contact the Arboretum at 410–634–2847, ext. 0 or info@adkinsarboretum.org for gallery hours.

Adkins Arboretum is a 400-acre native garden and preserve at the headwaters of the Tuckahoe Creek in Caroline County. Open year round, the Arboretum offers educational programs for all ages about nature and gardening. For more information, visit adkinsarboretum.org or call 410-634-2847, ext. 0.

Celebrate the Land with Music and More at LANDJAM!

Want to get outside? Here it is – a fun and festive family-friendly event held on the permanently preserved Leigh Family Farm in Betterton, MD. Eastern Shore Land Conservancy’s (ESLC) event aims to get anyone who loves the outdoors to join them on this Kent County waterfront property, complete with hiking trails, live music, birding walks, and views of the Chesapeake Bay.

LANDJAM will take place on Saturday, June 1st from 1 – 5pm. Tickets are priced for everyone to join in the fun – $25 for a family (up to 5), or $10 for an individual. Attendees are encouraged to purchase tickets ahead of time online at www.eslc.org/events. The event is rain or shine.

To help celebrate a beautiful day on the farm, guests will be treated to live music by two of the Shore’s finest bands – the toe-tapping hillbilly boogie of The High and Wides; and the funk, jam rock, and soulful blues of Black Dog Alley. This celebration of the land will offer local foods, drinks, and wares, available for purchase from a variety of vendors marketing the bounties of their craft.

Fans of craft beer will enjoy Dogfishhead Brewing and Patriot Acres brews, while a selection of wines from Crow Vineyard will also be available for sale.

Many activities for land-lovers, such as guided birding walks, educational activities, truck tours of the farm, games, and much more will be offered to enhance appreciation of conservation, restoration, and ecology.

CBF Report: The State of the Blueprint

A new Chesapeake Bay Foundation (CBF) report examining the state of the Chesapeake Clean Water Blueprint found both good and bad news.  While no state is completely on track, Maryland and Virginia are close to having the programs and practices in place to restore water quality and meet the 2025 goal. Pennsylvania, however, has never met its nitrogen reduction targets and its current plan to achieve the 2025 goal is woefully inadequate, detailing only two-thirds of actions necessary to achieve its goal.

“A chain is only as strong as its weakest link, and that is also true for the partnership working to restore water quality across the region,” CBF President William C. Baker said. “Today, unfortunately, Pennsylvania’s link is not only weak, it is broken.”

After decades of failed voluntary efforts, in 2010 the Chesapeake Clean Water Blueprint was developed and a deadline for full implementation was set for 2025. Experts around the world agree it is our best, and perhaps last chance for success.

The good news is that the Blueprint is working: Grasses are increasing, the dead zone is getting smaller, and blue crab populations are rebounding. But recovery is fragile. And the road to finishing the job is steep.   However, many of the practices to reduce pollution will also sequester carbon and help slow climate change.

What makes the Blueprint different than previous attempts is that it has teeth. It includes pollution limits and requires the Bay states and District of Columbia to design and implement plans to meet them. It also ensures accountability and transparency through two-year, incremental goals called milestones, and sets a goal of having the programs and practices in place by 2025 that will result in a restored Bay.  Our peer-reviewed economic analysis found that the economic benefits provided by nature in the Chesapeake Bay watershed will total $130 billion annually when the Chesapeake Clean Water Blueprint is fully implemented.

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has committed to providing oversight and enforcement of the Blueprint. If any jurisdiction fails to take the appropriate actions, EPA has said it will impose consequences. It has the authority to increase the number of farms that it regulates by extending permit coverage to smaller farms, review state-issued stormwater permits to ensure they are adequate, and condition or redirect EPA grants.

“Pennsylvania has failed to uphold its promise to reduce pollution to its surface and ground waters since the six state Chesapeake Clean Water Blueprint was launched in 2009,” Baker added. “If EPA does not hold Pennsylvania accountable, CBF and others must consider legal action.”

CBF assessed Pennsylvania, Maryland, and Virginia’s milestone progress to date and whether or not states are implementing the pollution-reduction commitments they have already made. Together, these three states are responsible for 90 percent of the pollution fouling the Bay and its rivers and streams.

Each of the states have drafted a new Clean Water Blueprint (formally known as a Phase III Watershed Implementation Plan) detailing how they will finish the job. Where we identified shortfalls, we are making recommendations on what is necessary in their new plans to achieve the goal.

To see our full report including the details of efforts to date, visit:   www.cbf.org/stateoftheblueprint

Virginia

Virginia is on track to achieve its 2025 goals, provided it accelerates efforts to reduce pollution from agricultural sources and growing urban and suburban areas, while continuing progress in the wastewater sector. Virginia has a strong roadmap for success; the key is implementation.

The Commonwealth released a strong but doable draft plan to reach the 2025 goals. However, the plan also underscores the additional work that lies ahead, especially to further reduce pollution from agriculture and stormwater

Virginia’s Blueprint shows exactly what actions are needed to accelerate the pace of reductions of all sources of pollution to our waters.   The plan relies on expanding existing programs that have proven successful, as well as new initiatives.

For farms, that includes keeping livestock out of all permanent streams and requiring detailed plans to reduce pollution from the vast majority of cropland. For developed areas, that includes strong support for programs that manage stormwater pollution, expanding protections for sensitive areas from development, and additional action to reduce pollution from lawn fertilizer. To address climate change, Virginia is a leader in the region by accounting for anticipated pollution increases from extreme weather.

“The State of the Blueprint report indicates overall progress in Virginia, especially by wastewater treatment plants,” said CBF’s Virginia Executive Director Rebecca Tomazin. “But a good plan is just the first step. We need to make sure that Virginia’s Blueprint remains strong, and that funding is in place to achieve these goals. Now is the time to let Virginia’s leaders know that implementing a strong Blueprint is our great opportunity to ensure clean water for future generations.”

The coming days are critical to success as Virginia finalizes its last update to its Blueprint. The public is invited to submit comments to: chesbayplan@DEQ.Virginia.gov

Maryland

Maryland is on-track to meet its overall nutrient reduction targets by 2025, due in large part to investments to upgrade sewage treatment plants, which have exceeded goals, and in farm management practices. Pollution from developed lands and septic systems continues to increase, challenging the long-term health of Maryland’s waterways.

Maryland has a long track record of investing in clean water, which has put the state on a path to reach pollution reduction goals for nitrogen, phosphorous, and sediment in the third phase of its Clean Water Blueprint. The reductions will mostly be made through a combination of wastewater treatment plant upgrades and reducing pollution from agriculture.

While the Blueprint provides a path to the 2025 goals, it is short on strategies to maintain them. The plan relies on annual practices that are less cost effective and don’t provide as many benefits for our climate and our communities as permanent natural filters.

In agriculture, the Blueprint relies heavily on annual practices such as cover crops and manure transport that require significant repeated investments. The state should transition its investments to increase long-term natural filters such as forested stream buffers and grazing livestock on permanent pasture. While the state is planning to subsidize farmers to plant nearly 500,000 acres of cover crops each year, it is only committing to plant 1,200 acres of new riparian forest buffers and move 2,500 acres of crop land into pasture.

Maryland is lowering expectations to reduce runoff from urban and suburban development in the third phase of the Blueprint. The draft expects Maryland’s 10 most developed counties and Baltimore City to treat runoff from impervious surface at about half the pace required over the previous eight years. The draft cautions that the reduced pace may even be slower because new MS4 permits for these jurisdictions have not yet been finalized. The effort is not making enough progress to reduce stormwater runoff from impervious surfaces—pollution from developed areas that is continuing to grow. By 2025, stormwater is predicted to contribute more pollution to the Bay than wastewater in Maryland.

“It’s reassuring to see Maryland has developed a path to meet its pollution reduction goals by 2025,” said CBF’s Maryland Senior Scientist Doug Myers. “But the state is putting an emphasis on costly annual practices such as cover crops and street sweeping to meet the goals when it should be focusing on sustainable efforts that will reduce pollution long-term. Those efforts include converting row crops to permanent pasture, reducing stormwater runoff in our cities before it erodes streams, and creating streamside forest buffers and wetlands to absorb and treat what does run off the landscape. Bigger goals for long-term, permanent practices will reduce climate change impacts and maintain clean water beyond 2025.”

The public is invited to submit comments to: Maryland Watershed Implementation comment form

Pennsylvania

The Commonwealth is signficantly behind in implementing the pollution reducing practices necessary to achieve the 2025 goals, particuarly from the agricultural and the urban/suburban stormwater sectors.

Wastewater treatment plants have met and exceeded goals and targets for making reductions by 2025. But agriculture and stormwater efforts have fallen significantly behind. While most farmers embrace conservation, a lack of financial and technical support has stifled progress. Keeping soils, nitrogen, and phosphorus on the land instead of in the water is good for soil health, farm profitability, and life downstream.

Pennsylvania’s draft Blueprint to reach the 2025 goal does not achieve the nitrogen pollution reductions necessary to meet its obligations. The draft plan would achieve roughly 22.7 million pounds of nitrogen reduction each year, or about 67 percent of the goal of achieving 34.1 million pounds.

Also, the resources to implement the plan do not currently exist. As drafted, the plan estimates the need for $486 million a year to implement it. Compared to existing resources, there is a shortfall in annual funding of nearly $257 million. Although the plan contains several proposed funding sources, none have been passed. The Administration and Legislature must act.

“Agricultural activities are the largest identified source of stream pollution. The limited success has been due to a lack of adequate technical and financial assistance to farmers,” said CBF Pennsylvania Executive Director Harry Campbell.  “Now is the time for the Commonwealth to show leadership and make the necessary investments to ensure that Blueprint goals are met.  If it does not, EPA must enforce the Blueprint and impose consequences.”

Pennsylvania has also not established a programmatic milestone accounting for growth and new sources of pollution such as population growth and conversion of forest and farmland to development.

The public is invited to submit comments to:  ecomment@pa.gov

Blackwater NWR to Hold Youth Fishing Fun Day on June 1

In partnership with the Friends of Blackwater and the Harriet Tubman State Park, Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge will hold their 17th Annual Youth Fishing Fun Day on Saturday, June 1, 2019 from 9:00 am to 1:00 pm.  This family-friendly event will be held at “Hog Range” Pond behind the Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad Visitor Center, located off Route 335.  Young people 15 years old and under can pre-register for the event by calling 410-228-2677, or register at the event on June 1.  Fishing will begin at 9:00 am and end around 1:00 pm.  Bait and fishing equipment will be provided, or you can bring your own.  The number of “loaner” fishing rods is limited, so it is recommended you bring your own if you have one.  Experienced adults will be available to assist the young fishermen in catching his or her fish.

Parents should note that this is a non-competitive, catch-and-release event, meant to introduce children to the fun of fishing.  Each registered youth will receive a free lunch ticket (hot dog, drink, and chips), and other “freebies” while supplies last.  The first 100 registered kids will receive a special gift.  Participants should also note that no pets are allowed at this event.

Directions to Hog Range Pond:  From Route 50 in Cambridge, turn onto Route 16 West.  Travel approximately 7 miles to Church Creek.  Turn left onto Route 335.  Travel approximately 5 miles.  Once you pass Key Wallace Drive on your left, turn right at the entrance to the Harriet Tubman Visitor Center.  Park in the secondary parking lot next to the pavilion behind the Tubman Visitor Center.  For further information and pre-registration, call 410-228-2677.

Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge, located on the Eastern Shore of Maryland, protects over 29,000 acres of rich tidal marsh, mixed hardwoods and pine forest, managed freshwater wetlands and cropland for a diversity of wildlife.  To learn more, visit our website at www.fws.gov/refuge/blackwater or @BlackwaterNWR.

The mission of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is working with others to conserve, protect, and enhance fish, wildlife, plants, and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people. We are both a leader and trusted partner in fish and wildlife conservation, known for our scientific excellence, stewardship of lands and natural resources, dedicated professionals, and commitment to public service. For more information on our work and the people who make it happen, visit www.fws.gov. Connect with our Facebook page at www.facebook.com/usfws, follow our tweets at www.twitter.com/usfwshq, watch our YouTube Channel at http://www.youtube.com/usfws and download photos from our Flickr page at http://www.flickr.com/photos/usfwshq.

Tour, Toast and Taste Promises Rare Glimpse Inside Wye House

On June 8th, Pickering Creek Audubon Center’s Tour, Toast and Taste will be held at Richard and Beverly Tilghman’s Wye House in Easton. The event will afford guests a rare look inside Wye House and a great opportunity to socialize and add culinary adventures to their social calendars for the next year.

Just around the corner from the 400-acre wildlife sanctuary and nature education center, Wye House is a perfect fit for this year’s Tour, Toast and Taste event to benefit the education programs of Pickering Creek Audubon Center, the Shore’s premiere environmental center.

Wye House is one of Maryland’s most historic homes. It is located along the Wye River on land acquired by Edward Lloyd in 1659. The current house was constructed between 1784 and 1790 by Edward Lloyd IV and is currently occupied by the 12 th generation of the Lloyd family to live on the property. The house is in the Palladian style and is often referred to as the finest example of late 18 th Century Palladian architecture in the United States. Many of the original furnishings and other objects remain in the house. The Orangerie, a garden structure, predates the house and is the most complete surviving structure of its kind in the United States. The property contains numerous early 19 th century out buildings. The Lloyd family cemetery’s earliest grave is dated 1684.

Wye House was once the seat of a sprawling estate comprising of tens of thousands of acres.

The evening begins with a leisurely drive down a long, beautiful tree lined drive. Upon arrival, guests tour four first floor rooms where guests of the house were traditionally greeted and received. The rooms feature significant original woodwork and other detail features as well as
artwork that have remained with the house over the course of several generations. The home has hosted a number of dignitaries over the years including the Duke and Duchess of Windsor. Two generations of the family will be on hand to share the history of the house as well as how it got to its present state of perfection.

After the house tour guests will stroll through the home’s tree lined garden alleyway to the Orangerie. After visiting the Orangerie guests will adjourn to a breezy tent beside the Orangerie for cocktails, delicious hors d’ouevres, and light entertainment. At the sound of the bell, guests
will have the opportunity to purchase a wide variety of intriguing dinners, unique events and auction items offered by strong supporters of the community-based education programs of Pickering Creek Audubon Center.

The Orangerie protected fruit trees in the winter and serves the function of a greenhouse.

The evening concludes with a special presentation of live raptors of Maryland by naturalist and friend of the Center, Mike Callahan. Callahan is an expert on barn owls and raptors and introduces the public to them through his work with the Southern Maryland Audubon Society
and Charles County Public Schools. Guests will have an opportunity to learn about the birds and see them up close.

The Tour, Toast & Taste committee consists of a group of loyal Pickering supporters including Jo Storey, Bill Griffin, Tom Sanders, Dave Bent, Cheryl Tritt, Ron Ketter, Desne Roe, Liz Fisher, Audrey Forrer, Dorothy Whitcomb, Andy Smith, Brooke Mesko and Colin Walsh. This year’s Tour, Toast & Taste is generously sponsored by the Bill and Mary Griffin, Colin Walsh and Carolyn Williams, the Dock Street Foundation, the Chesapeake Audubon Society, Cheryl Tritt and Phillip Walker, The Easton Group at Morgan Stanley, Phillip and Charlotte Sechler, Parker Counts, Wye Trust, Shore United Bank, Dwelling and Design, Stuart and Melissa Strahl, Lane Engineering, Tom Divilio and Lisa Gritti, Tom and Cathy Hill, Kristina and Michael Henry, Solidago Landscapes, Rick Scobey and Bruce Ragsdale, Tred Avon Family Wealth and Wayne and Joyce Bell.

For over 30 years, Pickering Creek Audubon Center has provided environmental education opportunities to students of the Eastern Shore, moving them from awareness of their watershed to conservation action in their communities. Since establishing a well-reputed elementary
education program in partnership with Talbot County Public Schools 25 years ago, Audubon has added meaningful watershed experiences for middle and high school students to our continuum of education along with community outreach education about our region’s unique ecosystems. Pickering Creek reaches the people of the Eastern Shore throughout their academic careers outdoor learning experiences that encourage them to continue interacting with the outdoors frequently.

Tickets and more information are available online at www.pcacevents.org. For more information call the Center at 410-822-4903.

Celebrate Heroes of Conservation with the Horn Point Laboratory

The Horn Point Laboratory (HPL) invites you to join their 7th annual Chesapeake Champion celebration.  The Hutchison Brothers are this year’s Chesapeake Champion.The event takes place Thursday, May 30 from 5 to 7 pm at the Waterfowl Building, 40 S. Harrison St., Easton.  Proceeds benefit the research of HPL graduate students and faculty.

Imbibe! Savor delicious hors d’oeuvres, sip a Chesapeake Champion cocktail with old friends and new acquaintances while you explore inspired demonstrations by HPL graduate students and celebrate the Hutchison Brothers.

“The Horn Point Laboratory is delighted to honor the Hutchison Brothers for their innovative agricultural practices benefiting water quality and soil health. They have been leaders in sustainable agriculture and environmental stewardship while maintaining a successful business,” said Mike Roman, Horn Point Laboratory Director.

The Hutchison Brothers are true Champions of the ChesapeakeThey are farming advocates respected by farmers and environmentalists alike.  For four generations and 250 man years the Hutchison family has farmed their land. Today, the family’s farming operations are run by 3 of 5 brothers who farmed together, Bobby, Richard, and David, along with Bobby’s son, Travis, and Richard’s son, Kyle.  Their father, Earl, was a founding board member of Talbot County’s Soil Conservation District.  The family was inducted into the Governor’s Agricultural Hall of Fame in 2005.  Bobby is member emeriti of the Harry Hughes Agro-Ecology Center.

Hutchison Brothers family members working the farm today. Left to right; Kyle (Richard’s son), David, Richard, Bobby, and Travis (Bobby’s son).

Travis says, “Environmental stewardship has been the key to pass on the farm from generation to generation.  It is critical to success when a family wants the farm to continue.”  The Hutchison’s apply innovative conservation practices and the latest technology to their farming business.  Their outlook is, “to be a farmer you have to be an optimist – always plan for a good year, if you plan for a disaster you will get one.”Today the family farms about 3,400 acres in Talbot and Caroline counties.  They continue to explore new technologies and sustainable practices to leave the land better than they found it.

Past Chesapeake Champions include; Amy Haines the first recipient in 2013, followed by John E. (Chip) Akridge in 2014, C. Albert Pritchett in 2015, Alice and Jordan Lloyd in 2016, Jim Brighton in 2017, and Jerry Harris in 2018.

The Horn Point Laboratory (HPL) is an environmental research facility of the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science (UMCES). The Lab is located on 880 acres on the banks of the Choptank River, on Maryland’s Eastern Shore. UMCES is the only institution within the University System of Maryland focused entirely on advanced environmental research and graduate studies. Its research primarily focuses on the Chesapeake Bay and restoring coastal health.

Mark your calendar and join us Thursday, May 30th to honor the Hutchison Brothers, 2019 Chesapeake Champion, and celebrate their leadership for sustainable agriculture and it benefits for a healthier Bay.

Tickets are $50/ person.  Sponsorship opportunities are available.

For more information, visit www.umces.edu/events/chesapeake-champion-2019 or contact Carin Starr at cstarr@umces.edu, 410-221-8408.

UNIVERSITY OF MARYLAND CENTER FOR ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE

The University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science leads the way toward better management of Maryland’s natural resources and the protection and restoration of the Chesapeake Bay. From a network of laboratories located across the state, UMCES scientists provide sound advice to help state and national leaders manage the environment, and prepare future scientists to meet the global challenges of the 21st century. www.umces.edu

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